Last year I had a role in a musical based on the life of Blessed Pope John Paul II. The writer/composer of the show wanted to assemble a “board of directors,” a group of trusted individuals to oversee and advise the project. But there was a twist. All board members needed to be saints.Â So with cast members’ suggestions, the writer/composer assembled his board — a few Polish saints, some well-known evangelizers, a few musicians andÂ voilÃ . We had our very ownÂ intercessoryÂ board toÂ prayÂ withÂ andÂ forÂ us.
What a novel idea — a board of directors, made up of saints, to guide our way!
I turned 36 on Tuesday and created a list of 36 things to accomplish during this year of life. Upon additional reflection, I missed the boat on one item. I neglected to create a board of spiritual directors to serve, in aÂ particularlyÂ intimateÂ way, as my cloud of witnesses throughout my 36th year.
So now I present to you my board of spiritual directors: 7 saints reaching out to me, inspiring me and uniquely supporting my vocation as wife and mother.
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A wise friend says: “When you say yes to His work, He will paint you beautiful.”Â The Church holds up Mary as theÂ example ofÂ ChristianÂ faith. She was picked to be the Mother of God, the firstÂ Christian. With her fiat, her yes, He painted herÂ beautiful.
May Mother Mary be my guiding example to have courage and confidence to say yesÂ to God’s call.
Do you share a birthday with a saint’s feast day? As demonstrated by this liturgicalÂ calendar, I don’t. No saint listed on June 26. Boo!
But wait. Hold the phone. Stop the presses! This just in …
A good friend recentlyÂ told me St. JosemarÃa EscrivÃ¡’s feast day is June 26. No! Could it be true? Why isn’t it on that calendar? After a quick Google search, I discovered his feast day is indeed June 26.Â Mea culpa! I shan’t complain one more second.
St. JosemarÃa EscrivÃ¡ is known as the saint of ordinary life. He was a 20th-century Spanish priest and founder of Opus Dei. He preached that all of us, by God’s grace, can achieveÂ holinessÂ through our ordinary life and work.
MayÂ St. JosemarÃa EscrivÃ¡ guide me as I work to build a saintly life in the midst of craziness at Das Schmidt Haus.
St.Â Sebastian, patron of athletes,Â was a third-century soldier who was tied to a tree and shot with arrows for being aÂ Christian. Get this — he survived that ordeal but wasÂ ultimatelyÂ martyred for his faith.
One of my 36 goals is to run the Des Moines half-marathon. The patron ofÂ athletesÂ is a natural fit for my board. But I’m also running a metaphorical race. As Lisa Hendey writes in her book A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, “To run the race of Catholic motherhood, we need toÂ strengthenÂ ourselvesÂ emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Part of this means building ourÂ staminaÂ through fitness, exercise, good nutrition, and proper sleep.”
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Easier said than done. Pray for me, St. Sebastian!
She was born and raised in Etables, France. At 15 her life was shattered when her father was murdered. At 25 she entered a religious order and, at the invitation of her bishop, sailed to America to found a new religious congregation near Lafayette, Indiana. She also openedÂ orphanages and schools there.
My Dad was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana. He lived in anÂ orphanageÂ for part of his childhood,Â althoughÂ I’m unsure of its ties to ThÃ©odore. MyÂ dad died in a tragic accident almost three years ago, and his earthly absence has been a real void in my life.
The degrees of separation between St.Â ThÃ©odoreÂ GuÃ©rin and meÂ are likely fewer than those connecting me to Kevin Bacon.
St.Â ThÃ©odoreÂ GuÃ©rinÂ is also an example in trusting God in following our vocations. You think she wanted to move to United States to found aÂ religiousÂ order? No way! But she once told her sisters, â€œHave confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us. The way is not yet clear. Grope along slowly. Do not press matters; be patient, be trustful.â€
That, friends, is my rule of life for this year!
St.Â BenedictÂ wrote theÂ Rule of Saint Benedict for monks living communally in an abbey. The spirit of St. Benedict’s Rule is summed up by two phrases:Â paxÂ (peace) and ora et laboraÂ (pray and work).
Joel and I travel to a Benedictine abbey once a month for deacon formationÂ requirements. Through our visits, I’veÂ developedÂ greatÂ admirationÂ for the order.
May peace, prayer, and work accompany us along our continued deacon formation journey.Â
Ignatius of Loyola was a 16th-century soldier-turned-mystic who founded a Catholic religious order called the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits.Â While Ignatius counseled the Jesuits to always carve out time for prayer, they were expected to lead active lives. Did you see my 36 things-to-do list? It’s very active; some may argue a little overzealous.
Instead of seeing the spiritual life as one that can exist only enclosed by the walls of a monastery, Ignatius asks us to see the world as our monastery — to be contemplative in action, to seek God in all things.
St. Ignatius, help my home become my monastery. Help me seek God in both the mundane and exciting.
While he’s notÂ recognizedÂ as a canonized saint, my dad is a member of the cloud of witnesses that St. Paul describes in Hebrews 12:1. I’ve heard it said thatÂ daughters carry their fathers with them, even when they aren’t around. There isn’t a day that I don’t think about or talk to him. If I had to assign roles to my board members, Dad would be the chairman.
Dad, I miss you like crazy. Keep reaching out to me. I know you’re there.Â
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And so there’s my Board of SpiritualÂ Directors for year 36. Who would you put on your board?
This post is linked up to Conversion Diary.